Help with buying

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9 years 9 months ago #33033 by 70m45
Help with buying was created by 70m45
Hi, I plan to buy a few hectare property at Far North - I've actually found something I like but I'm little bit confused about all those titles, allotments, surveys and other lingo (and the fact that English is my second language definitely doesn't help either :)

The land I look at is part of the farm and it consists of multiple lots (some of them are DP, some allotments - no idea what the difference is though). I would like to buy the part which consists of three lots (1DP and two allotments) and I'm really confused what would be the best way.

1) how can I check of any of those smaller lots does already have separate title? Do I need to pay a fee for each and check with council - or does it mean that if it is allotment it doesn't have a title and if its a DP it does?

I've already checked maximum info I can get from public resources like Northland GIS etc but I just can't figure out how the titles work (as far as I understand the title is simply just a record of ownership with other property attributes like easements and covenants).

2) If they do have titles, does it mean that I can simple buy them as they are (means 3 titles) and I don't need to merge them together?

3) if they don't have titles, is it better to issue separate titles for each lot or merge them together and get only one title? Is it possible that council will put some covenants on the land if I try to merge them and therefore is better to keep them as they are or something like that?

Sorry for such stupid questions but I'm really confused about this and I'm wondering if there are any implications regarding rates (3 titles vs. 1 title), how many dwelling allowed, cost of issuing 1 vs. 3 titles and so so.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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9 years 9 months ago #439579 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Help with buying
If a DP (deposited plan) has a title then you can build a dwelling on it subject to resource and permits. When land is broken up into lots, it may have several pieces to it that are merged into 1 property, so it is common to get a title with lot 1 and lot 2 of a deposited plan, but there will still only be one title for the whole parcel described. The deposited plan will have a number attached to it so it may read lot 1 and lot 2 of the deposited plan 12345, under area it will have the size of the property, such as 5 hectares more or less.
You would pay rates on the total land area, + improvements (if you build a house or a barn) and it will not be separated into rates over 3 lots.

The far north district council should have available the information you need, including whether it has a title on it, so you can build a dwelling if you wish to. You would be wise to get a LIM report, which should tell you if there are any restrictions, water or gas mains, highways or power lines planned to go through it. Your land agent if you have one is not obliged to tell you anything, except if you ask him. If you asked the right questions, he must tell you anything he knows which may affect the property. Such as does it flood (also noted on LIM) It is up to you to do "due diligence" and you should also work with your solicitor.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 9 months ago #439580 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Help with buying
DP = Deposited Plan. It means a drawing lodged with the council, showing a subdivision into several lots. Developers often don't arrange for titles to be issued until a particular lot is sold. Be careful, because there have been cases where there was a problem in issuing the title and the new owners had to wait several years. For myself, I would only buy a property where the title was already issued, or perhaps make that a condition of sale.

If the titles for the 3 lots you want to buy have already been issued, it will cost extra to merge those 3 titles together, so most people just leave the separate titles as they are. Under the "contiguous land holdings" provisions of the rating act in the Far North, you can get the UAGC remitted for the extra titles, so long as there is no dwelling on those titles, meaning that a lower amount of rates is charged.

As for how many dwellings are allowed, it depends on the zoning. In our area (General Coastal), you can have one dwelling per 12ha as of right, and with permission from council, it can be as little as 5ha. Other zones have different rules.

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9 years 9 months ago #439588 by 70m45
Replied by 70m45 on topic Help with buying
Wow that was fast - thank you alot!

I'm talking with the owner directly and there is no land agent involved as far as I know. The land type is "Primary Industry-Store Livestock", when I try to put that DP number into Northland rate database I can see that the rates are for all bunch of other lots (7+ including those other two I want).

Does it mean that if there are no rates for that particular DP then it probably doesn't have a title (or there is no relation between rates and titles). Also if I got it right - if those other lots are just "allotments" there are no plans for them on council yet?

If so than the best (most economic and fastest) way would be to merge those 2 allotments to that one DP and then get a title for the whole thing?

I'm actually little bit worried that there is no title but the seller is not a developer and he just basically tries to get some money from his land so I assume I would go with some sort of pre-sale/conditional agreement to get that title sorted first. BTW he already have sold some other lots in the same way as far as I know and there were no issue (the land is far away from road up hills and there is no power so the price reflects that).

Is it possible to check with council over the phone the existence of titles and if there could be any issues? I'm based in Auckland and I guess I need to talk with someone from Far North council as they won't have maps in Auckland branch.

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9 years 9 months ago #439593 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Help with buying
The F'nDC has an Auckland branch? They can barely run the local ones. Good luck. Expect them to be extremely slow at whatever you ask them to do. I hope you strike it lucky!

Where's the land you're looking at?

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9 years 9 months ago #439594 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Help with buying
I don't know the circumstances of the sale, but do be careful, especially if the person you are dealing with is Maori. I'm not having a go at Maori here, just pointing out that there is a lot of Maori land in the north and most of it is tied up with tribal affiliation and is owned by many people not just one land owner. It would be sad if you spent your money on land that had multi owners, and found you had parted with your money and nothing to show for it. If you cannot get access to Far North District council records, then for goodness sake get your lawyer to do a proper title search.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 9 months ago #439602 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Help with buying
Hello and welcome to the site. :)

To be quite honest, I can't make head nor tail of what your saying, not because English is your second language but because it all sounds a bit dodgy. Do you have a lawyer? If not, get one and your going to need them anyway to do the conveyencing. There may not be anything dodgy about it at all but your lawyer will find anything that is.

If you want the name of a local lawyer, PM me. We picked him out of the telephone book and have bought five bits of dirt over 10 years using his expertise. Which reminds me that I should do something about a Will........

Cheers,
Ronnie

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9 years 9 months ago #439604 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Help with buying
Get a solicitor.
you can get the file for each piece of land from the council, in Kapiti it was $5 and burnt onto CD for you.
There I have no idea if the land is Maori land (no it is on racist to ask the question as some of it is governed by different land laws), if it is it can be very complicated to purchase it and definitely need a solicitor.

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9 years 9 months ago #439605 by kai
Replied by kai on topic Help with buying
Every bit of land you buy should have a separate title if you are buying the land in separate lots. A title is not an approval to build, it is just a piece of paper saying you own it and what exactly you own and any possible easements (eg should neighbour be able to run power lines under ground across your place etc

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9 years 9 months ago #439606 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Help with buying

70m45;438960 wrote: I'm talking with the owner directly and there is no land agent involved as far as I know. The land type is "Primary Industry-Store Livestock", when I try to put that DP number into Northland rate database I can see that the rates are for all bunch of other lots (7+ including those other two I want).

It sounds to me as if this is only a proposed subdivision at this stage, and the titles for the separate lots have not been issued because the subdivision has not been completed.

Whatever you do, get a lawyer and BE CAREFUL!

70m45;438960 wrote: I'm actually little bit worried that there is no title but the seller is not a developer and he just basically tries to get some money from his land so I assume I would go with some sort of pre-sale/conditional agreement to get that title sorted first. BTW he already have sold some other lots in the same way as far as I know and there were no issue (the land is far away from road up hills and there is no power so the price reflects that).

Maybe you are planning to live Off-Grid, but if not, and you are wanting a power connection, be aware that Top Energy charges very high prices to connect you to the grid!

I was quoted $75k for about 700 metres of overhead cable, an 11kV transformer and about 200 metres of underground cable to the house site. I believe that in other areas of the country, you could get the work done for much less, but I checked with other lines companies, and Top Energy has the exclusive right to install grid connections in the Far North.

70m45;438960 wrote: Is it possible to check with council over the phone the existence of titles and if there could be any issues? I'm based in Auckland and I guess I need to talk with someone from Far North council as they won't have maps in Auckland branch.

You really need to visit the F'nDC head office in Kaikohe and look at the file for the property. It will give you a much better idea what is going on, and you can copy any of the documents for a small fee.

Before we bought our property in the Far North, we made an appointment with one of the council staff, went to Kaikohe and viewed the file for some small fee. The staff were very helpful in answering our questions.

If you are serious about this, and want to do the job properly, a visit will be well worthwhile.

Good Luck!

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9 years 9 months ago #439612 by diggs
Replied by diggs on topic Help with buying
As said before get a solicitor.

Kapiti

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9 years 9 months ago #439620 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Help with buying
Yep, get a solicitor.

All the advice given here is by people who are relying on the information you are providing. None of them has had a chance to look at the documents involved so it's guidance only.

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9 years 9 months ago #439626 by oskatd
Replied by oskatd on topic Help with buying
Just to clarify, a legal description with DP and a 6 digit number after it will be a relatively new title. Allotments are very old titles. Land that has been in Maori Land title will have ML in the legal description. Land in Maori Land title will not be available for sale to non-maori - the Maori Land Court is quite strict on this, and as far as I am aware no more Maori Land is allowed to be europeanised (not sure if that is actually a word!), but land can be reverted to ML title (is very confusing and complicated), titles can be made up of lots of lots (DP, Allot, ML etc etc) held together by compulsory amalgamation - which can also be confusing. If buying land that does not currently have a title (ie, has subdivision approval), any agreement to buy should be subject to the title being issued, and yes, your solicitor should be advising you of all this.

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9 years 9 months ago #439627 by Blueberry
Replied by Blueberry on topic Help with buying
your comment that English is your second language leads me to think you're a recent immigrant? i also guess that this is your first go at buying property in New Zealand?
Have been in your shoes a dozen years ago, and have learned heaps in the meantime. Even after those 12 years, i would not go where you are headed
The most important thing for you to take note is;
GET A SOLLICITOR
Honestly, 70m45, do not think you can work through all the pitfalls on your lonesome. There are too many things that can go wrong.

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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9 years 9 months ago #439702 by 70m45
Replied by 70m45 on topic Help with buying
Thanks again for all comments, really appreciate that!

I'm definitely going to get a lawyer but I just wanted to ask here first as all this stuff is pretty new to me. I'm little bit less confused now when I know that the allotment is pretty the same as the DP (the DP is just a new form of allotment :)

The owner is not Maori and as far as I know there are not Maori artifacts on site so this side of things should be okay. I'm also happy with the fact that there is no power, the solar is not so expensive these days and I think it actually makes you realize how much power you waste when you are on grid - the only power we need is basically lights, washing machine, small fridge and our laptops so that should be okay.

Those lots I'm interested in are old subdivision/amalgamations divided by paper roads (I did my research of paper roads as well :) - these roads have never been used by anyone in last 20 years so I'm not even going to try and close this roads as there is a normal gravel road close by (dead end).

I just basically wanted to do some sort of the pre-check by myself to just know if it makes a sense to actually spend money on getting titles/lims and lawyer.

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